The Academy Of MotionPicture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has announced a list of 16 films which areexpected to compete for the animated feature Oscar this year. Since thecategory allows five nominations if there are 16 eligible films or more, 2006could be the first year since 2002 to have a five-film face-off.

The announcement included aproviso that three of the films - Arthur And The Invisibles (the French film originally known as Arthur AndThe Minimoys), Happy Feet and Paprika from Japan - have yet to be released in Los Angeles. If any oneof the 16 films were not to meet that requirement, the category would only havethree nominees.

The announcement, however,removes any doubt that Arthur And The Invisibles would not qualify for this category since its liveaction/animated mix was at one time considered weighted towards live action.

The 16 films are (inalphabetical order) The Ant Bully, Arthur And The Invisibles, Barnyard,Cars, Curious George, Everyone's Hero, Flushed Away, Happy Feet, Ice Age: TheMeltdown, Monster House, Open Season, Over The Hedge, Paprika, Renaissance, AScanner Darkly and The Wild.